Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise sauce
Hollandaise sauce is a gentle, rich emulsion made from butter and egg yolks, sharpened with some lemon juice. Hollandaise is a pale lemon colour, slightly opaque, silky smooth in texture and has a subtle taste.
Hollandaise is traditionally served along with eggs Benedict and asparagus but also goes well with grilled seafood, poached salmon, and beef.
It is believed that Hollandaise sauce was introduced to France by the Heugonots (French Protestants) as there were Flemish/Dutch sauces with similar recipes. Another legend says that there was a time when France had to import butter from Holland, and this association might have influenced the name of a butter-rich sauce.
Hollandaise sauce can be flavoured with a variety of ingredients, such as herbs, spices, and mustard. It can also be used as a base for other sauces, such as Béarnaise sauce.
Hollandaise sauce should be served warm, but not hot, to avoid curdling. It should also be used within a few hours of being made, as it is prone to spoiling due to its high egg and butter content.
Hollandaise is considered one of the "five mother sauces" of French cookery.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 2


  • saucepan, heatproof bowl


  • 150 g butter (melted)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)


  • Pour water into a saucepan, filling it is no more than half full. Leave on a very low heat to simmer.
  • Whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice and vinegar together in a heatproof bowl until the mixture is an even, pale colour and has thickened.
  • Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. This method helps avoid excessive heat which can cause it to separate.
  • Whisk the mixture for 2 minutes.
  • Add the melted butter, and continue to whisk until the mixture has again thickened and doubled in volume.
  • Remove the bowl from heat. Season to taste.
  • Serve over your favourite meal.


Is hollandaise sauce an emulsion?

Yes, an emulsion is a mixture of two ingredients that would not usually mix together. This is why if heated too quickly or too much, hollandaise can split.

Is hollandaise sauce dairy free?

No, butter is a key ingredient in the recipe.

Is hollandaise sauce gluten free?

Yes, hollandaise contains no flour to thicken it – eggs and butter are its main ingredients.

Is Hollandaise sauce healthy?

Not really, eggs and butter are high in fats, the sauce however is delicious, but best used as a special treat.

Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D.